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Synod Council and Deans Meeting


This meeting will be held online.

Sketch and Outline of Presentation to 

NTNL Synod Council and Deans 

Leading into God’s Future Together 

February 5, 2021, 1-4pm

Objective and Purpose

Provide tools and resources to help pastoral and synodical leaders initiate conversations in congregations regarding their futures in light of the changing realities that have been brought on by Covid-19 and other circumstances and situations.


Basic structure will be three one-hour sessions, each lasting about 50 minutes with a ten-minute break between each session.

Session 1 – Basic Introductions and Defining our Problem 

  • Bishop welcome and sharing learnings thus far.
  • Defining our problem, where are we “stuck?”
    • What challenges and struggles are congregations/pastors and lay leaders/synodical leaders encountering in the present moment? Where do you see us stuck?

Session 2 – Helpful theoretical resources that speak to our present moment 

  • Systems theory
    • Who is responsible, reframing, what is goal?
    • What leads to “stuckness?”
    • Leading through resistance.
    • Distinction between empathy and sympathy.
  • Narrative theory and future story
    • We all, individuals and congregations, have a narrative.
    • Introduce idea of a future story.
    • Functional vs. dysfunctional stories
  • Grounding in reality, so we can make clear and realistic decisions about how to live into the future, even if that future is unknown.

Session 3 – Practical Application: Leading into the new, being prophetic and pastoral 

  • Interactive exercises and sharing. Relating to real life situations.
  • Building resilience and ability to lead through resistance and into change.

Resources to be Applied 

Andy Lester’s book, Hope in Pastoral Care and Counseling (concept of Future Story) 

Ed Friedmann: Failure of Nerve, and Friedman’s Fables; Wayne Menking: When All Else Fails; Rethinking our Pastoral Vocation in Times of Stuck. (Systems theory, change and resistance) 


February 5, 2021
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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